Dell said yesterday that it is offering a memory module that can boot up a computer--or rather, a laptop in this case--in mere seconds. Called Latitude ON | FLASH, the quick-boot system is an additional option to the current quick-boot system that uses an ARM processor. But as it stands now, the new quick-boot module is only offered as an option for Dell's Latitude E4200, E4300, and Z laptops.
PC World reports that the module uses the laptop's x86 processor rather than a separate ARM chip, and snaps into an internal mini-card slot. The drawback to this option is that it uses more power than the ARM-based version, making battery life less than stellar compared to the present option. However, the quick-boot memory module is supposedly a considerably cheaper alternative.
Dell's Lionel Menchaca added in this blog that Latitude ON | FLASH delivers a broad level of functionality at a significantly lower price point than the original Latitude On OMAP-based offering. "But with a new Gen 2 interface and the addition of Skype, support for Flash and full web browsing functionality, thin client capabilities, and other types of media, Latitude ON | FLASH seems like it might be a good compromise for business users who still want instant on access to a lot of the productivity tools they use everyday without having to boot into the operating system," Menchaca said.
The benefit of a quick-boot option is that end-users can access applications and the Internet in just a few seconds after booting the machine. The first instant-on capability came with the Latitude Z laptop, using a Texas Instrument OMAP chip based on an ARM design that supports an instant-on environment.